Volvo is about to become more popular than ever.
The Swedish automaker gained a reputation for safety as early as the 1920s, when Managing Director Assar Gabrielsson said,
Cars are driven by people. The guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo, therefore, is and must remain, safety.
That’s a sentiment that remains with the company to this day. More recently, the principles of design, comfort, and performance have also played a large part in the company’s strategy.
With new models on the way, Volvo is evolving from the old days of “boxy-but-good” to a new era of innovation in technology and design.
The 2016 XC90 is a bit of an oxymoron because it’s the first all-new vehicle the company has introduced since being sold by Ford and picked up China’s Geely Automotive. Even under Chinese ownership, the XC90 is the most Swedish Volvo the company has built in decades.
Volvo has moved beyond the V8 engines of the past and adapted a 2.0-liter, direct-injected, variable-valve-timing twin-cam 4-cylinder that’s both turbocharged and supercharged. The motor is enough to propel the roughly 4,700-pound XC90 from 0-60 in 6.4 seconds.
The XC90 will win customers with its brutish Scandinavian looks and posh IKEA-like interior. It won’t win races with the competing German SUVs, but it will carry people more comfortably and have more room for gear. It’s also one of the best cars of 2016 for winter driving, but with its Nordic roots, that shouldn’t come as any surprise.
The XC90 is only the beginning of Volvo’s renaissance. It’s built on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) that will, eventually, be chopped and sliced to underpin future Volvos of a variety of sizes.
Based on the S90, it’s a proper family wagon. Frankly, we’re a bit perplexed as to why Volvo would put it on offer given the success of the all-new XC90 and XC60. Then again, we have no visibility into whether or not the Swedes will ship it to The States. This particular vehicle has a European plate holder and I have not seen any V90 test vehicles running around the company’s northern New Jersey headquarters, so, I’d say this one is still a toss up.
Speaking of the S90, Volvo’s flagship sedan will go on sale later this year and be the first car to offer semi-autonomous driving as a standard feature. Called Pilot Assist, the system can steer the S90 to speeds of up to 80 miles per hour.
More details will be released as we get closer to launch, but it’ll feature the same squared jaw as the XC90 in addition to sharing powertrain options and offering all-wheel drive.
With a combination of athletic looks, efficient powertrains, comfortably luxurious interiors, and advanced technology, Volvo is finally poised to take on the world’s best luxury automakers.
Are you considering a new Volvo this year?